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New York 14, Mr. Crowley 12, Us 10, America 8, Maryland 7, Washington 7, Mr. Levin 7, Mr. Van Hollen 6, Michigan 6, Mr. Boustany 3, U.s. 3, United States 3, D.c. 3, Karl Rove 2, Mr. Kelly 2, Levin 2, Mr. Roskam 2, Lois Lerner 2, Darrell Issa 2, Mr. Mcdermott 2,
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  CSPAN    Key Capitol Hill Hearings    Speeches from policy makers and  
   coverage from around the country.  

    February 26, 2014
    2:00 - 4:01pm EST  

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the speaker pro tempore: the yeas are 224. the nays are 19 t the previous question is ordered. the question now is on adoption of the resolution. as many as are in favor will signify by saying aye. those opposed will say no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. mr. polis: on that i request a recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: a recorded vote is requested. those in favor of the request
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for recorded vote will rise and be counted. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 231. the nays are 185. the resolution is adopted. without objection, the motion
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to reconsider is laid on the table. the unfinished business is the vote on the motion of the gentleman from virginia, mr. goodlatte, to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1944, which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar million 265. h.r. 1944, a bill to protect private property rights. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house spend the rules and pass the bill. members will record their votes by electronic device. this will be a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 353. the nays are 65. 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table.
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the speaker pro tempore: the house will come to order. all members please take conversations off the floor. all members please clear the ell. the house will come to order. again all members are reminded please take conversations off the floor. all members are please asked to clear the well and the aisle. for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, pursuant to house resolution 487 i call up e bill h.r. 3865, the stop targeting of political beliefs by the i.r.s. act of 2014, and
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ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar number 261, h.r. 3865, a bill to prohibit the internal revenue service from modifying the standard for determining whether an organization is operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare for purposes of sex 501-c-4 of the internal revenue code of 1986. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to house resolution 487, the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the committee on ways and means printed in the bill is adopted. the bill as amended is considered as read. the gentleman from michigan, mr. camp, and the gentleman from michigan, mr. levin, will each ontrol 30 minutes. the house will come to order. please take all conversations off the floor. lease members clear the aisle.
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the chair recognizes the gentleman from michigan, mr. camp. mr. camp: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and and to heir remarks include extraneous material on h.r. 3865. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. camp: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for as much time as he may consume. mr. camp: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today in support of h.r. 3865, the stop targeting of political beliefs by the i.r.s. act of 2014. to stop the i.r.s. and treasury from restricting free speech activities of social welfare organizations that have been in place for over 50 years. last may we learned that the i.r.s. targeted conservative groups seeking tax exempt status. for over ninth months committee investigators have reviewed hundreds of thousands of internal i.r.s. documents and interviewed i.r.s. officials regarding the targeting. our investigation is not yet over and the ways and means
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committee continues to wait for the i.r.s. to turn over lowest learners emails. despite the ongoing investigations both in congress and by the inspector general, last november treasury rushed forward with proposed new regulations to stifle 501-c-4 groups upending rules that have been in place for over half a century. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman have is recognized. -- the gentleman is correct. the house will come to order. please take all conversations off the floor, please clear the . sles the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. camp: under the proposed rule social welfare organizations will face additional unprecedented scrutiny for engaging in the bows basic unpartisan political activity. such as organizing nonpartisan get out the vote drives, registering voters are hosting candidate forums in the
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neighborhoods. if the treasury department anders virs their way, these sorts of activities would jeopardize the tax exempt status of social welfare organizations. making matters worse, the administration is pushing the proposed rule based on a false premise. treasury issued these rules under the premise of considerable confusion. in the tax exempt application process, they used the term considerable confusion to justify their actions. however, the committee's investigation has found no evidence that confusion caused the i.r.s. to systematically target conservative groups. in fact, we found the evidence to the contrary that i.r.s. workers in cincinnati flagged tea party cases for washington, d.c., because of, quote-unquote, media attention. and before washington got involved, frontline i.r.s. employees were already processing and approving tea party applications with no intrusive questionnaires or signs of confusion. in addition to being based on a false premise, the proposed rule
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was drafted in secrecy and long before the administration proclaimed need for clarity. our investigation has discovered that treasury and the i.r.s. were working on these new rules behind closed doors for years. well before the targeting came to light. while the administration claims that the proposed rule is the response to the inspector general's audit report, i.r.s. employees told committee staff in transcribed interviews the discussions about the rule started much earlier in spring of 2011. further, a june 2012 email between treasury officials and i.r.s. director of tax exempt organizations, lois learner, shows these potential regulations were being discussed, quote, off plan. meaning the plans for the regulations were to be discussed behind closed doors. this type of behavior raises serious questions about the integrity of the rule making process, and counsels for putting a hold on the draft rules. the intent of the rules proposed by the obama administration is clear, to legalize the i.r.s.'s
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inappropriate targeting of conservative groups. these proposed rules severely limit groups' rights to engage in public debate by labeling activities such as candidate forums, get out the vote efforts, and voter registration as political activity for 501-c-4 groups. foufer 501-c 3's, which are not allowed to engage in any political activity, and labor unions are free to continue to engage in these activities without limitation. it's clear that the american people are also concerned that these proposed rules would squash their first amendment rights. treasury has received over 94,000 comments on the rule so far, which is the most they have ever received on any rule ever. given the american public's significant interest in the proposed rules, it is imperative that treasury put a hold on them until the investigation into the targeting are complete so that all the facts are known and the public has ample opportunity to be heard.
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this legislation will ensure that treasury does not rush this rule into effect this year, allows the ongoing investigations to issue findings on the targeting, helps us to stop the i.r.s.'s targeting of taxpayers based on their personal beliefs, and is a commonsense step to preserve these groups' ability to engage in public debate. i urge my colleagues in voting yes -- in joining me in voting yes to this legislation, and i reserve the balance of my time. mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent at this time that the gentleman from louisiana, dr. boustany, control the remainder of my time. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the chair will receive a message. the messenger: mr. speaker, a message from the senate. the secretary: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: madam secretary, the secretary: i have been directed by the senate to inform the house that the senate has passed h.r. 2431, to re-authorize the national integrated drought information system. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan, mr. levin, is now recognized. r. levin: thank you very much.
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i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for as much time as he may consume. mr. levin: on a day when the chairman of the ways and means committee, mr. camp, is unveiling a tax measure, that requires serious bipartisanship to be successful, we are here on the floor considering a totally political bill in an attempt to resurrect an alleged scandal that never existed. was there incompetence at the i.r.s. in the processing of 501-c-4 applications? yes. and i was among the very first who said that those in supervision should be held accountable. was there corruption, political interference, white house involvement, and enemies list as the republicans have claimed since day one? absolutely not. no evidence whatsoever.
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yesterday the i.r.s. commissioner confirmed that $8 million have been spent directly on those investigations, as over 255 people have spent over 79,000 hours doing nothing but responding to congressional investigations. an additional six million to eight million have been spent to add capacityle to information technology systems to -- capacity to information technology systems to process securely the 500,000 pages, 500,000 pages of documents congress has received. and what have they learned? that both progressive and conservative groups were inappropriately screened out by name. and not by activity. and that no one was involved in this outside of the i.r.s. and that there was no political motivation involved. when the inspector general asked his chief investigator to look into the possibility of
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political motivation by the i.r.s., that investigator concluded, and i quote, there was no indication that pulling these selected applications was politically motivated. the email traffic indicated that there were unclear processing directions and the group wanted to make sure that they had guidance on processing the applications so they pulled them. that is a very important nuance, end of quote. indeed it is. and it's precisely that lack of clarity that the i.r.s. was responding to in proposing new regulations for 501-c-4 organizations. new regulations that are designed to bring certainty in determining whether an organization's primary activities are political. the regulations are among several steps the i.t. himself
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recommended in his audit report that the i.r.s. undertake. each of which the republicans repeatedly called for action on. on june 3, 2013, at a hearing before the house appropriations committee, chairman crenshaw told acting i.r.s. commissioner danny wuerffel that, and i quote, we are going to insist that the i.r.s. implement all nine of the recommendations in the inspector general's report, end of quote. a republican member of the ways and means committee, mr. roskam, has a bill to implement all of the inspector general's recommendations, including implementing new 501-c-4 regulations. why is this important? because applications for 501-c-4 status have nearly doubled to 3,357. 0 and 2012
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and spending has skyrocketed. in 2006 $1 million was spent by c-4 organizations. $1 million. 2010, $92 million spent. nd in 2012, $256 million spent by four organizations. the designation c-4 presently allows organizations to keep their donors secret. hidden as to which individuals contributed. and that is exactly -- that's the secrecy that the republicans are trying to preserve. why? why? because the three largest penders representing fully 51% of the total are a who's who
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list of republican political operatives. crossroads, it's indicated here, crossroads g.p.s., karl rove, $71 million. americans for prosperity, the coke brothers, $36 million. the american future fund, the coke brothers again, $25 million. the federal election committee had reported to it, according to the center for responsive politics. if you live in a targeted state and you turn on your television, you have probably seen these groups that work at distorting the affordable care act. that is why we are here today purely and simply. not because republicans want to
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stand up for the rights of social welfare organizations, and they often talk about small ones, but to preserve the secrecy around the republicans' big campaign efforts. these are draft regulations that the republicans themselves called for. over 76,000 comments, and i think now more, have been received, and the comment period does not close until friday. look, these regulations aren't likely to come out this year anyway with all these comments. so why this bill? why this bill? it's very, very clear and it's very simple. 501-c-4 a problem with 's. the three organizations that i mentioned that are involved as
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political operatives in one form or another, these are eople who have donors nobody knows. this is secret money. why are we standing here and saying to the i.r.s., don't look at 501-c-4's, don't look at the possible massive abuse, don't look at what has happened in the last few years where political operatives, under the guise of 501-c-4, have moved from $1 million in many cases o $256 million reported to the s.e.c.? our constituents, democrats and republicans, are offering their comments and some of them i agree with and they deserve to be read, but not to be shredded at the hands of a november
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campaign strategy by the republican party of this country and by the republican conference of this house. i reserve the balance of my time, and i ask unanimous consent that the gentleman from new york, mr. crowley, be able to control the balance of our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves and without objection on mr. crowley from new york controlling the balance of the time. now the gentleman from louisiana. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i want to respond to some of the comments that my friend on the other side made. there are three ongoing investigations that are incomplete. mr. boustany: there is the inspector general investigation still incomplete and ongoing and the i.g. and there is a third criminal investigation. so i ask first off the question, why -- why start regulating now when we don't have all the information?
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let's let all this go to conclusion and then institute the proper reforms. i want to point out on targeting the inspector general say that the i.r.s. and treasury have guidance on how to measure political activity, not what constitutes political activity, how to measure it. the proposed rule has been in development since 2011. internal i.r.s. emails between treasury and i.r.s. show they re developing the rule offplan. that means beyond the sunshine of disclosure and out in the open, off plan. what do they have to hide? why are they doing this? this is all before the allegations came out. when asked in the markup of this legislation whether the proposed rule answers the inspector general's recommendation for the i.r.s.
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and treasury provide guidance on measuring political activity, the chief of staff of the joint committee on taxation, nonpartisan, said the proposed rule does not address the measurement issue. now, all we're seeking to do is propose a -- we're seeking to delay the implementation of this rule until we complete the investigation. we have all the facts, and then we can talk about what reforms should be implemented. i think it's premature in starting to implement regulations that would embark upon at this time. at this time i yield to a member of the ways and means ommittee, mr. kelly. the speaker pro tempore: how much time? ms. hanabusa: two minutes.
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the speaker pro tempore: -- mr. boustany: two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. kelly: our first amendment rights were enshrined in the bill of rights and we have all taken the same oath. the best of our ability we preserve, protect and can he fend the constitution of the united states. i am -- defend the constitution of the united states. i hear dollar numbers. we can't afford to spend this kind of money. never before in america were re-we worried about the cost of money when -- were we worried about the cost of money. it has no dollars attached to it. it is basically fundamentally american. and when we talk about the american citizens not being able to talk that but first amendment, by the way, protects and enshrines. 45 words in the first amendment that protect and enshrined our rights. this is not a political issue. this is not about an r or a d. it's about a we. this is about an entire can you be. if we say, this has to do with an election. an election? really, an election? we cannot allow the voice of the people not to be heard in
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our town squares when they need to speak out they need to know they can speak out without being threatened, without being worried what's going to happen to them this is so basically who we are as americans. it has nothing to do with republicans and democrats, independents and i willry tarians. it -- and libry tarians. it has -- libritarians. my gosh have we have fallen what the founders intended it he very beginning. we cannot have this debate in serious and say we're spending too much money to protect the reitz rights of our -- protect the rights of our american citizens. that is absolutely foolish. so i am very, very strong on the protection of what we're talking about. 3865 reconfirms what the american people need to know. they can speak out on anything, anytime, anywhere they want without having to worry about anybody interfering with it, especially a government. this is a government that serves the people. this is not a people that serves our government. and to think we have to have a
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the of legislation, on floor is absolutely so different than what we think. again, the voice of the american people has got to be heard. i don't care, conservative, liberal, wherever you're coming from, you can speak out anytime you want. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. kelly: i thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from louisiana reserves. the gentleman from new york. mr. crowley: mr. speaker, how much time remains on each side for housekeeping purposes? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york controls 22 minutes. the gentleman from louisiana controls 21 1/2. mr. crowley: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for as much time as he may consume. mr. crowley: mr. speaker, we ve all heard the outrage and the innuendos of our republican colleagues and fox news. this is a phony, a phony investigation against president obama launched for political purposes.
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facts like the person who began these investigations was a self-described conservative republican. facts that 500,000 pages of documents have been provided to congress and there is no, no smoking gun. facts like the five dozen interviews of i.r.s. employees at 15 congressional hearings that nothing was found. these are the facts that i realize some will choose to not believe the facts versus fiction. so let me provide some basic commonsense information. the inspector general who oversees the i.r.s., someone who was appointed by then-president george w. bush, someone who has admitted that he covered up political targeting of progressive groups in his report to congress, someone who has had a number of private meetings -- who had a number of private meetings with
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the republican chair of the oversight committee, darrell issa, and then came out to issue public statements as cts, this someone, jeh russell george, testified under oath that he notified congressman darrell issa of his investigation into the i.r.s. in the summer of 2012. do you know what else was happening in the summer of 2012? a very close presidential election. does anyone honestly think if there was an actual scandal or an actual targeting of just tea party groups by the administration in the months and the weeks leading up to the 2012 elections when barack obama was going to be ballot that congressman darrell issa ouldn't blow the whistle and expose it, when he was notified
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that an investigation was ongoing and occurring? this doesn't pass the laugh test. this is another phony scam in the realm of phony scams my republican colleagues make up to go after democratic presidents. but it was also interesting is just as the republicans continue their crusade to discredit the i.r.s., the republicans have rallied around their version of tax reform. i have a copy of the summation right here. this is just the summation. a radical version that will empower, empower the i.r.s.. this legislation they're offering today will empower the i.r.s. and raise taxes on families while cutting them from multinational corporations. for the past several years, the public has been told that the republicans were trying to rip the tax code out from its roots and that it would be rewritten
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by democrats and republicans together. well, guess what, democrats were never once invited to help draft, draft this bill. speaker boehner even dismissed democratic criticism of the process by, quote, saying, blah, blah, blah, unquote. so what is the result? a republican -- a radical republican tax plan that will, if enacted, end the tax break for families to deduct their state and local income taxes that they already paid in taxes to the states and local governments. it will slash mortgage interest deduction for homeowners. it will create a new tax on social security. it will tax workers with a health care offered by their employer. it will increase taxes on hundreds of thousands of our military families. it will institute the chained c.p.i. to raise taxes, also known to reduce veterans' and
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social security benefits checks. this really begs the question, whose side is our republican colleagues on? they try to look populous by creating false scandals and bashing the i.r.s., but in reality they mask it and radically redesign the tax code, making families pay more so international corporations can pay less. and that is the real scandal here this afternoon, mr. speaker. with that i'll reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentleman from louisiana is recognized. mr. boustany: thank you, mr. speaker. i welcome the opportunity to debate tax reform, but it's obvious to me that the gentleman hasn't read the bill yet and i think you should read the bill before you debate tax reform. that will come at another day. i want to go back to why we are here today. i want to point out that this is a bipartisan i.r.s.
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investigation by congress. i want to also point out in that regard that the ways and means committee document request are bipartisan. joint requests from chairman camp and ranking member levin. and ranking member levin also admits that the investigation is incomplete. and so we have to get down to the bottom of this and let this investigation be done. the american people deserve to know what the truth is before we start issuing new law or having new regulations issued by the executive branch, which will have a chilling effect of infringing on first amendment rights. now, one of the previous speakers on the other side mentioned the i.r.s. spending money and manpower on this investigation. yes, the i.r.s. also spent $40 million on conferences over a period -- over the period of the targeting. one conference alone cost $4.1
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million. waste. in 2012, the i.r.s. spent $21.6 million on union activity. taxpayer dollars on union activity. explain that to the taxpayer. and the i.r.s. spends about $5 million annually on its full service production studio in new carrollton, maryland. the fact of the matter is the american people are tired of the waste. they're tired, and they are also very concerned about infringement on their first amendment rights. so with that i'm very pleased to yield four minutes to the gentleman from ohio, mr. renacci, for -- renacci. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio is recognized for four minutes. mr. renacci: mr. speaker, i taxpayer pport of the transparency act. americans across the country were deeply -- stop targeting of political beliefs by the i.r.s. many in ohio's 16th
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district, my district, contacted my office to express grave concerns about the lack of accountability and ransparency within the i.r.s. not only did a public agency violate the public trust, it infringed on our first amendment rights. the ways and means committee began investigating allegations of this nearly three years ago. what was discovered is disturbing. the committee found evidence that conservative groups were targeted to extend far beyond what was initially reported. as part of its ongoing investigation, the committee reviewed hundreds of thousands of i.r.s. documents and interviewed hundreds of employees. recently the i.r.s. published draft rule this is a would authorize the continued targeting of political groups. these rules represent a disregard for the liberties outlined in our constitution and demonstrate the dangers of a growing federal government.
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the i.r.s. actions bring to light just how rampant abuse is within the administration. the american people will not tolerate it and neither will congress. this legislation is commonsense, require the i.r.s. to halt its lawmaking process while the investigation is completed. it's critical to gather all the facts before the i.r.s. implements these rulets which were created behind closed doors this legislation builds upon a bill i introduced last year that would specifically spell out that any i.r.s. employee, regardless of political affiliation, who targeted a taxpayer for political purposes could be immediately relieved of their duty. it passed the house with broad bipartisan support. this is not a partisan issue. whether you're a republican, a democrat, or an independent, above all, we are americans. targeting anyone based on any
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affiliation goes against the very principles this country was founded upon. americans of all political beliefs deserve to know that they will not be targeted by their government for political purposes. i thank chairman camp for his hard work on this important legislation and i urge my the clerk will designate the amendments to support it. thank you, mr. speaker, i yield back the brans of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from louisiana reserves. the gentleman from new york. >> mr. speaker, i remind the gentleman from ohio that this bill known as the tax reform act of 2014, made public today, will be a sucker punch to the family this is a live in higher tax states like illinois, wisconsin, nebraska, new york, and ohio. all these states have representation from the republican party on the ways and means committee, they helped draft this legislation, the question is, whose side are they on? with that, mr. speaker, i yield three minutes to the gentleman from washington state, mr. mcdermott. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington is
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ecognized for three minutes. mr. mcdermott: well, mr. speaker, here we are back in the theater of the absurd. the republicans are wasting valuable time and resources on political theater crafted to make the producers at fox television happy while they should be moving forward with the country's business. there have been six separate investigations, not a single shred of evidence has been found demonstrating political motivation or white house involvement in the i.r.s. grouping of the tea party applications by name. now one of my colleague sass physician. he's from louisiana. he's operated many times. you do not begin surgery until you know what's going on with the patient. we have six investigations which found no reason to operate, no reason to pass this
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legislation, yet here it is. ronically, the real trickery of this is this bill. karl esigned to protect rove's crossroad g.p.s. and the koch brothers from houston from exposing where the money that they put into the political process is being used. everyone knows what a 501c4 is about. you give the money to the organization, they don't have to report your name to anyone. and then the organization can use it any way they want. now if an organization comes to e i.r.s. and says, we want a 501c4, the i.r.s. should ask a few questions, don't you think? if they're going to give an exemption from the american people for those people paying
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the taxes who put it in there. karl rove and all his cohorts ought to pay tacks if they're going to use it for the political process and it's the i.r.s.'s job to find that out. the same with liberal groups. they treat all the groups, any group that comes in, has to explain what they're going to do with the money. and we've had six investigations, but now we have a bill without any conclusion from any committee or any investigation that there's a problem. the floor of the house should not be the stage for the republicans to work out their november election strategy and funding. if republicans really want to work on behalf of the american people, they should get serious, roll up their sleeves, the production tax credit ought to pass out of here to unanimous consent. there are a thousand thing this is a ought to be happening here today instead of this silly bill which will have no effect.
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it's not going through the senate, the president isn't going to sign it, it is simply political at ther to give the directors at fox tv things to put on television. if you intend to do something real, you can. but this bill is not real. it is simply to reignite the basest allegations against the white house. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentleman from louisiana is recognized. mr. boustany: i'm pleased to yield one minute to the majority leader of the house. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. cantor: i thank the speaker, i thank the gentleman from louisiana. mr. speaker, i rise today in support of the stop targeting of political beliefs by the i.r.s. act. mr. speaker, the political -- mr. speaker, political speech was considered by our founders to be deserving of the utmost protection. the first amendment they wrote
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is no less crucial to our democracy today than it was in those initial days. since those days, americans have come up with all sorts of ways to exercise their fundamental free speech rights, including asemibling together in organizations to express their thoughts about what their government is doing. these groups, including those known as 501c4 organizations are an important part of our democracy. many of these groups are formed to specifically engage and educate our citizenry through candidate forums, debates, grass roots lobbying, voter registration and other activities to promote the common good so america has an informed public. for over 50 years, these organizations have been eligible to apply for tax exempt status but now, mr. speaker, that status is under threat from new regulations being proposed by the i.r.s. the goal here is clear.
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these regulations will -- were re-- were reverse engineered in order to directly silence political opponents of this administration. that is the worst kind of government abusmse silencing your critics is common place in authoritarian country, not in the united states of america. and frankly, it's a cowardly act to silence people via backroom regulations. those who disagree with any administration's policies, whether conservative or liberal, still deserve the constitutional protections afforded to them. this kind of government abuse must stop and it must stop now. today, we have an opportunity to act in a bipartisan manner because this bill prevents these costly regulations from taking effect on group this is a promote issues both sides of the aisle deeply care about.
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nearly 70,000 comments have been proposed from both sides or all sides of the ideological spectrum, the majority of those submissions are negative. recently the american civil liberties union submitted a 26-page comment to i.r.s. commissioner john cosca of non stating, social welfare organizations praise or criticize candidates for public office on the issues and should be able to do so freely without fear of losing or being denied tax exempt status, fetch doing so could influence a sint's vote. the aclu continued, stating that the advocacy work done by these group sthess heart of our representative democracy. the aclu and so many others who spoke out in opposition to this legislation are absolutely right. political speech represents the best part of america.
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the ability for americans to be able to reach out to their elected representatives and let them know when they agree or disagree with them. no matter which side of the aisle we're on, mr. speaker, we must protect that fundamental freedom system of let us stand together today and pass this bill so that americans, whether individually or collectively, can continue to strengthen our political process without fear of retribution. i'd like to thank chairman camp as well as subcommittee chairman boustany and the ways and means committee and all those across our country who have spoken out on this issue and i ask my colleagues to support this bill. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia yields back. he gentleman reserves. mr. crowley: the only threat to the freedom of the americans is not the bill we're discussing now but the bill announced this afternoon, the tax reform act
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of 2014, the freedom of americans to purchase their first home, the freedom of americans not to have a tax placed on their health care. those are the type of freedoms being threatened today, mr. speaker. with that, i yield three minutes to the gentleman from california thembing chair of the democratic caucus of the house of representatives, mr. becerra. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. becerra: i thank the gentleman for yielding. i think the best way to describe this bill is to call it the prevent secret money from disclosure act because that's what we're really talking about. what matters today to most americans? if you talk to folks back home or on the street, they'll tell you, are you working on making sure the private sector is creating jobs. does this bill help create jobs? no. they'll say, at least make sure if i'm paying taxes you're using it the right way. does this bill help taxpayers save money? no. so why are we doing this? you're hearing folks talk about the constitution.
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the constitution doesn't guarantee campaign donors get special tax create for protection. the first amendment protected speech, not secret contributions. so what's the problem? the problem is the i.r.s. has finally figured out that a whole bunch of folks are funneling a lot of dark, secret money into organization this is a under the tax code are permitted and they're using this to influence our american campaign. we have no idea who is making these contributions of millions of dollars, secret dollars, to influence campaigns here in america. sit foreign governments giving these millions of dollars? we don't know. is it money launderers trying to influence elections? we don't know. we have no idea who is giving this money because under the tax code that these organizations are filing, they have no obligation to disclose who has given them one red cent.
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that tax code section 50rks1c4, very similar to 501c3, the charitable organizations we're familiar with. 501c4 is known as social welfare organizations. you know how much money those social welfare organizations spent working in our election? the republican national committee and the democratic national committee combined ent $255 billion in the 2012 elections. that's how much the two parties sent. how much did social welfare organizations spend in more than the two political parties combined. $256 billion. can you tell me where one penny came from? no, you can be the. because it's all secret money. it's all secret money. what are proponents of the bill trying to do? they're trying to hide the names of those who gave the money. why?
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we don't know. but it sure would be nice to know who is getting all -- giving all this money when ght years the social welfare organizations gave $1 million for political purposes. $226 billion in 2012, eight years ago, $1 million. someone is trying to buy elections and we can't figure it out because those donors don't have to be disclosed. it's time to make sure those donations are disclosed. that's all the i.r.s. is trying to do it's cloaked as something different by proponents of this bill. let's not hide the money. it's time toties close those contributors. vote down this bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from louisiana. mr. boustany: there's no denying we may need retomorrow tos in this. the gentleman from california and i have had these kinds of conversations but i point out that the investigations are not complete and need to be complete but the ranking member
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mentioned earlier in his comments money. donors. as reasons for this rule. but neither word, neither the word donor or money, contributions, appears in the regulation. and it's been cited by the former acting director or commissioner of the i.r.s. there was a confusion, a cob fusion narrative emermed on the basis of really no internal investigation at the i.r.s. there's been no interview of the employees, no facts established, we're still doing this invest from our standpoint as is -- this investigation if our standpoint as is the inspector general and we know from our investigation so far in interview, having interviews with the cincinnati employees, that they were not confused by the rules, they were processing the applications until interference came down from washington, from higher up in
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the exempt organizations dwoifings the i.r.s. the employees then flagged tea party applicants because they said they were quote, media interest. 24 hours after the flagging for media interests, these washington, d.c., officials at the i.r.s. requested tea party applications. unlike the i.r.s., the committee on ways and means has been investigated this matter and we have not completed this investigation, but committee investigators have interviewed nearly three dozen i.r.s. officials from front line screeners to the former commissioner. we reviewed hundreds of an is s of documents nearing completion. a central figure in this investigation is lois lerner and we have not gotten the information we have requested
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from lois lerner. we put the newly confirmed commissioner on notice, if he wants to move forward with reforms and do all the things he wants to do during his tenure at i.r.s., well, we got to get this investigation done. we have to get the facts on the table and thirst has to come clean before the american people. this agency is at the -- occupies a central part of every single american's life. it affects every one of us. this agency has the power to destroy each and every one of us and that's why the trust and the integrity needs to be restored. and this rule -- all this rule does, it shuts down speech. it does nothing, nothing that these -- these gentlemen, our friends on the other side of the aisle have mentioned in terms of reforms and cleaning up the election system and all that. no, it does none of that.
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speech. imply stiffles we owe it to the american people, we owe it to the integrity of this institution to complete this investigation, put the facts on the table. follow the facts wherever they may lead. this is mott political. this is simply looking at the facts. now, rather than a recently afted confusion, this rule focuses the silence on these small groups, silent conservatives. as early as 2011, long before the inspector general audit, i.r.s. officials in washington, d.c., began talking about the proposed rule. we have email from treasury to i.r.s. off plan. now, we're trying to get more of these emails because we want to know, what does it mean off
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plan? why was this discussed? and why was this discussed before the allocations came forward from these various groups? this is not right. we need to get to the bottom of it. and rather than occurring confusion, the proposed rule would silence these social welfare organizations and have a disproportionate affect on some of these right-leaning conservative groups that were subject in the first place to targeting. mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from louisiana reserves. the gentleman from new york. mr. crowley: mr. speaker, my good friend from louisiana would continue to have you believe that only right-wing and conservative groups were being investigated when in fact he knows and we know that it went well beyond that. there were progressive groups that were also subject to this investigation. but mr. speaker, let me also point out to my friend from louisiana, he mentioned that maybe members of the democratic caucus had not yet at the reussed the republican tax --
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per used the republican tax reform act of 2014. i'm assuming he read the proposed regulation. he said that money was not mentioned, when in fact on the first page, contributions of money or anything of value to or slit take of contributions n -- or to solicitation of contributions to any 501-c-4 engaged in candid political activity, so money is mentioned on the first page, just to set the straight, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, this republican tax plan, radical tax plan will for the first time tax workers for their health insurance benefits that they are provided through their job and taxed previously untaxed social security income. the question again is, whose side are they on? with that, mr. speaker, i'd like to yield three minutes to the gentleman from new jersey, my friend, mr. bill pascrell. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is
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recognized for three minutes. mr. pascrell: thank you, mr. speaker. have the greatest respect for sincerely the good doctor. i think he's a reasonable man, a good person. but when you're explaining, you're losing. i rise in strong opposition to this legislation. after we learned last year about the inexcusable way the i.r.s. evaluated applications for tax-exempt status -- because that's what is at the heart of this issue -- i was hopeful we could have a bipartisan response. after all, it was not only conservative groups, as you've heard, that had their applications sing naled out simply because of words -- signaled out simply because of words tea party, quote-unquote, no one is disagreeing about that. progressive groups were filtered as well. my democratic colleagues and i were equally outraged by this behavior. we put it on the record.
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but those hopes faded quickly when it became apparent that my colleagues on the other side weren't actually interested in investigating this wrongdoing and fixing the problem. this bill is just the latest example how instead they are only concerned with scoring cheap political points. where i am from in paterson, new jersey, we would call this puric softestry, empty arguments, deceitful. hat's what that means. the examples the republican leader pointed out could be under section 527, but if you're under 527, you need to disclose where the money came from. so you choose not to be under section 527 of the tax code. you'd rather be in another
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section. and what is that other section? you are not tax liable and you don't have to disclose who gave you the money. what is this? russia, china? you heard the numbers. we're talking about billions of dollars. billions of dollars. the difference? they'd have to disclose where the money came from. no evidence of any retribution has been found on either -- within either political party. . this is really a witch-hunt unfortunately for the american people, it is the integrity of our electoral process here that's on trial. the fact is that the supreme court's rulings have legalized a tore ept of hundreds of -- torrent of hundreds of millions
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of dollars in corporate spending that's infected our elections. we ask again today, join us in correcting that decision by the supreme court. it has infected our legal process. mr. crowley: i yield an additional 30 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is yielded an additional 30 second. r. pascrell: one that could be easily under section 527, we created a special section in the tax code precisely for tax-exempt political groups. no, they don't want to go under those groups, because if they go under those groups, then they have to tell us who's contributing to them. this is absolute chagrinry. this is not some rabbit down the hole conspiracy theory to prosecute the president.
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mr. crowley: one more minute. mr. pascrell: they are providing clear rules of the road. both for tax empty groups and the i.r.s. about what exactly is political activity so they know what is permissible under the law. this isn't about free speech. this isn't about being a tea party or progressive. spend all the money you want to say whatever you want about any election. just don't be expected to be able to do so while calling yourself a tax-exempt social welfare group. we're paying more taxes because these people are getting away with it. that's the bottom line. and you i know, doctor, are totally against that because you are not really in the final analysis prefer that some groups are better than others. those particularly who don't tell us, who don't -- donated to the group. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman's time has expired. all members are reminded to address their remarks to the chair. the gentleman from new york's time -- reserve. mr. crowley: i ask how much time sleft on both sides? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york has 4 1/2. the gentleman from louisiana has 11 1/2. the gentleman from louisiana is recognized. mr. boustany: thank you, mr. speaker. in the "nation" magazine, the alliance for justice writes, a 501-c-4's is made up over 46,000, mostly small organizations nationwide that are active participants in civic life. they were not invented in the last election cycle. they've been around for generations. their purpose isn't to hide donors. it's to advance policies. they also add, these groups were involved in elections because it's often impossible to advance a policy cause without being involved in the political process. this is from the liberal side of the political spectrum. i'm now pleased to yield four minutes to todd young from -- a member of the ways and means.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from indiana is recognized for four minutes. mr. young: thank you, mr. speaker. thank you for your leadership on this issue. mr. speaker, i rise today because this is an essential issue. it affects groups in my home state of indiana as well as groups throughout the country. as a member of the committee on ways and means, i've been present during hearings where we learned that the i.r.s. targeted conservatives and tea party groups. during those same hearings, i've shared letters and documents that showed some of the targeted conservative groups or my fellow hoosiers. now regretfully, it appears the i.r.s., rather than holding those responsible for this targeted sort of activity, is seeking to make political targeting part of their standard operating procedure. the recently proposed i.r.s. regulation that pertains to these 501-c-4 groups is designed to do so in a way that clear inhibits their first amendment activities. now, 501-c-4 is the section of
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our tax code that many conservative groups tried to file under. they can't file under 501-c-3 because that would limit their ability to engage in grassroots lobbying. they can't file as 501-c-5's because they aren't a labor union. they can't file as c-6 because they aren't a chamber of commerce. they can't file as 528 because that would limit them to political activity. none of these other organizations are affected by these new regulations. only 501-c-4's. now, this seems curious to me and the regulation seems to preventing them engaging in civil discourse. that's why i strongly support h.r. 3865, the stop targeting of political beliefs by the i.r.s., or the stop act. this bill doesn't say that the i.r.s. can't regulate this issue or they should not regulate this issue. instead, it just tells them to wait until the investigation into this targeting conclutes
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before discussing whether any changes to the -- concludes before discussing whether any changes to the rules. it would help protect the political speech and the civil rights of my constituents and those around the country. i urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this bill, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from indiana yields back. the gentleman from louisiana reseves. the gentleman from new york is now recognized. mr. crowley: mr. speaker, i'll reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york reserves. he gentleman from louisiana. mr. boustany: i yield three minutes to our friend on the ways and means committee mr. roskam. mr. roskam: thank you, mr. speaker. there's one thing worse than gridlock, according to my predecessor, congressman henry hyde. the worse thing than gridlock is the greased chute of government.
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and it's ironic that the very administration that jammed through the affordable care act, known in the vernacular as obamacare, the very group that foisted that on the american public in the middle of the night without much oversight, without much discussion, jammed it through, now has a new remedy as it relates to this latest problem, and that is, do it again. do it again on another issue. you know, we heard our friend from new jersey posing a question and he's misinformed by his -- by the nature of his question, somehow that the american public is paying for this. yet we had testimony that mr. camp, the chairman of the ways and means committee, asked this question of the chief of staff for the joint committee on taxation, this is dave camp, chairman of the committee, do these proposed regulations respond to some kind of revenue loss or tax avoidance scheme in
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answer, not that i'm aware of, sir. these organizations are generally exempt and a revenue loss has not been identified as the basis for these proposed regulations. let's not kid ourselves. here's the reality. the reality is that this stifled speech. this is from an administration that's been complicit in overseeing an internal revenue service that's picked winners and losers, that's been able to say you get to participate in the public debate and you don't. we ought not do this there've been over 100,000 comments on this proposed regulation, norse who want to parties and -- participate and offer their own comments, go to roskam.house.gov/don'tbe silenced to offer their thoughts on this. we know that an administration that has a tendency to
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overrespond, an administration that doesn't have much credibility on being thoughtful and nimble when it comes to thinking about legislation is not the administration we should trust at this time with a rule of such incredible consequence. i urge the passing an of this bill and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois yield back. the gentleman from new york. mr. crowley: i yield one minute to the gentlelady from new mexico, ms. lujan grisham. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. mrs. lujan grisham: mr. speaker, federal law state this is a social welfare groups must exclusively promote social welfare. social welfare includes activities like early childhood education, environmental protection, or veterans care. not partisan political campaign activities. now there's an important book on the house floor and it's a dictionary. we have that book here because this is a law making institution and the precise
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definitions of words is incredibly important. the last time i looked up the word exclusively, it meant everything. excluding everything else. solely or only. however, the i.r.s. must have found an alternative definition for exclusively when it issued a regulation allowing social welfare organizations to only primarily promote social welfare. this contradiction between federal law and i.r.s. regulation has allowed these groups to spend over a quarter billion dollars on political campaign activity. not their social welfare mission. while keeping their donors secret. i urge my colleagues simpley to vote against the bill and let the i.r.s. move forward with its proposed regulation to correct this. exclusively should mean exclusively. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from louisiana is recognized. mr. boustany hoc --
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mr. boustany: how much time remains? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has 3 1/2 minute the gentleman from new york has two minutes. mr. boustany: i yield two minutes to the gentleman from louisiana. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. scalise: mr. speaker, we should not stand by and let the i.r.s. target american citizens based on their political beliefs. yet that's what's been going on. it's been uncovered. the president tries to act like it's some isolated incident and yet of course we've got all kinds of testimony that shows that this goes way beyond some local office, this is a widespread, abuse of power by the internal revenue service and what we're seeing now with this latest proposal is literally something that would try to shut down an entire seg. of american people who want to participate in the democratic process, mr. speaker. the i.r.s. should not be able to go and target people based on their political views. that's what's happening and president obama is encouraging
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this kind of activity where you literally have the white house using enemy lists to go after people with groups like the i.r.s., the e.p.a., the nlrb, and the entire alphabet soup of federal agency this is a seems to want to go after people that might say something, exercising their first amendment rights, that the white house disagrees with. that's not how america works. that's not what this great country is built upon, mr. speaker. if the president doesn't like the political views of somebody, that's what the great discourse of this country is all about. that's what makes our country so great is that we can disagree. we can exercise those great rights that the founding fathers put in place and that was later established in the bill of rights. the first of those bill of rights being the first amendment, encouraging free speech. it's what makes us strong as a nation. yet here comes the i.r.s. trying to shut down, use the heavy hammer of their power to try to shut down political speech of people who disagree with them. it's not going to work, mr. speaker. we're not going to stand for it. here in this house.
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i commend my colleague for bringing the legislation which i'm proud to co-sponsor but over 94,000 americans have already weighed in on this as well, signing letters and inputting public comment, including 70 members of the republican study committee that chimed in. we're not going to stand for this. this will be a bipartisan vote in support of this legislation to stop the abuse of the i.r.s. and i appreciate the time, mr. speaker, and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker: the gentleman's time has expired, the gentleman from louisiana reserves. the gentleman from new york. mr. crowley: i know my colleagues don't want to talk about their radical republican tax bill. it's an actual bill on the plern tax paying public. it's going to tax social security, eliminate tax dedubsen state and local taxes that taxpayers have already paid. it will implement chain r.p.i. they want to focus on a phony scandal, i understand it. not this extreme scandal republican tax bill, a bill that will force upon the
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american public, with that, i yield the balance of my time to the gentleman from maryland, mr. van hol. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for the balance of the -- balance of the time which is three minutes. mr. van hollen: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank my friend and creag. i've listened all afternoon as my republican colleagues have held forth about the importance of the first amendment. no one is debating that. that's not what this bill is about, despite your best efforts to suggest it is. what this bill is about is letting organizations spend millions of dollars of secret money, secret money, try to buy elections to serve their special interests. that's what this bill is about. now, our republican colleagues have talked repeatedly about the treasury inspector general's report. i don't know if they've read the report but one of the recommendations was for the i.r.s. to revise its regulations and guidelines to clarify this particular area.
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i would have hoped that all of us would want the i.r.s. out of the business of determining whether or not a 501-c-4 is primarily involved in political activity or primarily involved in social welfare activity. i don't want them under the nose of every organization trying to figure it out. that's why the i.r.s. is trying to reform this area of the law. so why isn't that what our republican colleagues want? pause this isn't about allowing those groups to exercise free speech. it's allowing these organizations to be used to channel secret money without disclosing those expenditures to the voters. that's what this is all about. because you can spend as much money as you want on political advocacy and campaigns. all you have to do is organize as a 527, another organization under the tax code which by the
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way, is also tax exempt. so why isn't that good enough? you can say as much as you want, spend millions of dollars. i'll tell you why. because under 527's, people are spending all that money to influence elections, they have to disclose. they have to tell voters who they are spending millions of dollars to try to influence those votes. but that's not good enough for our republican colleagues. this they want to preserve this messy situation because it allows all that secret money to flow into these campaigns. we believe vote verse a right to know who is trying to spend millions of dollars to influence these votes. and by the way, eight of the nine justices on the supreme court in citizens united, a case which i have lots of problems with lots of parts of it, but eight of the nine justices reagree with us that
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transparency is important. here's what justice kennedy said -- these transparency laws, quote, impose no ceiling on campaign-related activities, and quote, to not prevent anyone from speaking. but they have a governmental interest in providing the electorate with information about the sources of election-related spending. eight out of nine supreme court justices afree with what every poll shows that the american people overwhelmingly want transparency in our elections because why? transparency brings accountability. i think every american has an interest in knowing who is spending millions of dollars. to try to get them elected to congress. to serve particular special interests system of mr. speaker, for goodness' sakes this isn't about the first amendment. this is about allowing secret money in campaign this is a we should not allow that. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from louisiana is
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recognized. mr. boustany: thank you, mr. speaker. i would first mention that the regulation does not mention donors. secondly, i would like to point out that the aclu itself said hese requirements, quote, will pose insurmountable compliance issue this is a go beyond practicality and raise first amendment concerns of the highest order. the gentleman mentioned the treasury inspector genre port but didn't precisely characterize what the inspector general said. the inspector general said in his report that the i.r.s., one of the recommendations, does the i.r.s. provide guidance on how to measure political activity, not what constitutes political activity. with those clarifications, i would like to yield two minutes to the gentleman from texas, mr. brady a member of the ways and means committee. mr. brady: thank you, mr. chairman. thank you and dave camp for leading this effort to protect our free speech. whenever someone in washington tells you don't worry, it's not really about free speech, trust
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me, it is. a lot of americans are frightened by the thought that their government would target them based on their political beliefs. i'm convinced the darkest days in america's history is when -- has been when the government has tried to silence the voice of those who disagree with them. we suffer under this intimidation during the civil rights era, under the anti-war era, and now today because conservative organizations, constitutional organizations, some who simpley want to make the country better and have that voice, are now being targeted. and make no mistake, this is not about clearing up confusion. this is about intimidation. this is about the government using one of the most powerful agencies it has, the i.r.s., the only agency that can destroy your life, your family, your business' life with their immense power, targeted people
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because of their political beliefs. if you talk about what is free speech, i would point to this. look at organizations back home in your community. those who want to do get out the vote. so go vote and have your voices heard. voter registration. candidate forums. let's find out what elected officials and candidates feel about the issues. and grass roots lobbying, letting their neighbors, their communities, their might bes -- members understand the issues and weigh in. that is free speech. that is the first amendment. when this government targets americans based on it, we've got to stop it. make no mistake, republican, democrat, tea party, progressive, i don't care where you're at on this we cannot let the government have this power, it must be stopped now. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas yield back. the gentleman from louisiana. mr. boustany: does the other side have time? the speaker pro tempore: the ther side has expired.
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mr. boustany: how much time remains? the speaker pro tempore: you have two minutes. mr. boustany: let me close the debate by saying, throughout this vigorous discussion, we want to make clear that this bill just simpley asks for a one-year delay in the implementation of this rule to allow ample time for congress complete its investigation, for the treasury inspector general, for tax -- treasury inspector general for tax administration to complete its investigation so we have the facts on the table. we shouldn't be jumping aed of the gun and trying to possibly and likely infringe on first amendment rights on the part of so many people unless we have the facts. the ranking member of the committee, mr. levin, admits, he's admitted that the investigation is incomplete. let's just give this time. we owe it to the american people to do that. we owe it to the integrity of this institution to do our work
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prior to having these paramur -- premature judgments, especially when the rule doesn't address all the issue that was been discussed today system of mr. speaker work that i ask that this bill -- that we all vote for this bill, support it, move it forward, let's hit that pause button, let's complete the investigation and co-our -- do our due dill swrens. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. all time having expired, pursuant to house resolution 487, the previous question is ordered on the bill as amended. the question is on engrossment and third reading of the bill, those in favor say aye, those opposed, no. the ayes have it, third reading. the clerk: a bill to to prohibit the internal revenue service from modifying the standard for determining whether an organization is operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare for purposes of section 501-c-4 of the internal revenue code of . 86 the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from maryland seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i have a motion
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to recommit at the desk? the speaker pro tempore: is the gentleman opposed to the bill? mr. van hollen: i am. the clerk: mr. van hollen of maryland moves to recommit the bill h.r. 3865 to the committee of ways and means with instructions to report the same back to the house forthwith with the follow amendment add the following sections, promoting democracy from the corrupting influence of secret donors. nothing in this act shall prohibit the secretary of the treasury requiring the chris closure of secret political donors. section 4, restoring unemployment benefits for america's job seekers. this act shall not take effect until the secretary of treasury has certified that the most recent percentage of the insured unemployed, those for whom unemployment taxes were paid during prior an employment who are receiving federal or state unemployment insurance, u.i. benefits, when they are actively seeking work is at least equal to the percentage receiving such benefits for the
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last quarter of 2013 as determined by the department of labor's quarterly u.i. data summary measurement of the unemployment insurance resip yhency rate for all u.i. programs. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from -- > mr. speaker, i reserve a point of order. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's point of order is recognized. pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from maryland is recognized for five minutes in support of his motion. mr. van hollen: thank you, mr. speaker. this is the final amendment to the bill, which will not kill the bill or send it back to committee. if adopted, the bill will immediately proceed to final passage as amended, and as the motion indicated, it addresses secret money in elections, trying to make sure we end that secret money and also deals with the issue of extending unemployment insurance, which my colleague, mr. levin, will discuss in a minute. but i want to focus on this issue of secret money because
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this resolution, what we're asking our republican colleagues to join us on, is to vote on a very simple statement. to say that nothing in this act shall limit, restrict or prohibit the secretary of the treasury from issuing regulations, requiring the disclosure of secret political donors. our republican colleagues all afternoon has said this is about the first amendment. this is about protecting the right of people to express their views. that's not what their bill's about. everyone's in favor of people being able to express their views. as i indicated earlier, you can form what's known as a 527 organization and whether you're an individual or an organization in that forum, you can spend millions of dollars to try and influence the outcome of elections. what we're saying is, the voters have a right to know who is bankrolling these campaign
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efforts. what we've seen over the last couple years is a huge increase, an explosion in money being spent by outside groups to try to influence the outcome of elections to try and elect members of congress to support whatever interests those groups may support. and this bill, what we're proposing, will still allow all this money to be spent. but -- and here's the key -- most of that money is now flowing through 501-c-4 organizations because some groups have been abusing those organizations to allow them to use as secret conduits, conduits to allow them to secretly fund campaigns. and all we're saying is, let's not take away the right and ability of the treasury , partment to pass regulations to not allow that secret money. because i thought most of us agreed in transparency, and i
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thought most of us agreed in accountability and i know that eight of the nine supreme court justices, even in a controversial case, support transparency and disclosure. they say that's good for democracy. you know what every poll shows that the american people overwhelmingly agree, so let's vote for disclosure and vote for this motion. with that i yield the balance of the time to mr. levin. mr. levin: let's look at the facts. only those who won't look don't see them. 1.9 million americans, long-term employed, have lost their unemployment insurance since december 28. another 72,000 every week. unemployment insurance lifted 2 1/2 million from poverty in 2012, and now hundreds of thousands are sinking into poverty because this institution and the house majority do not act.
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the long-term unemployment rate in this country, 36% of jobless workers over six months. the lowest percentage of jobless receiving unemployment insurance in over 50 years. it's mindless not to act in terms of the national economy. it's heartless not to act in terms of the individual lives of hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of thousands of americans and their families. vote, vote for this motion to recommit. don't see how mib can go home -- anyone can go home and vote no. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland. mr. van hollen: i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan rise? mr. camp: thank you, mr. speaker.
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i withdraw my point of order and seek time in opposition to the motion. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. camp: thank you, mr. speaker. this motion to recommit actually allows and perpetuates the targeting of americans by the internal revenue service. this motion to recommit permits the government to restrict the free speech of americans. i can't stand for this. the american people can't stand for this and should not stand for this. vote no on this motion to recommit. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. without objection, the previous question is ordered on the motion to recommit. the question is on the motion. all those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. the motion is not agreed to. for what purpose does the gentleman from maryland rise? mr. van hollen: on that i ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on -- the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having
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arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. pursuant to clause 9 of rule 20, the chair will reduce to five minutes the minimum time for any electronic vote on the question of passage of the bill. this is a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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